My partner works for a private school. I have attended a few events and watched some of their livestreams. By doing this, I have learned that money can buy you a better high school experience.
I attended a public school. I had wonderful teachers. Don’t get me wrong – a few teachers were definitely there to collect an easy paycheck by doing as little as possible. Most of my teachers were intelligent, engaged, and loved their job.
I did not have college or university guidance provided to me without request. Most of us went to high school the way people go to day jobs: clock in and clock out. I had no idea I needed to request this kind of assistance until it was literally too late.
The private school has what appears to be endless funding. Kids are being drafted for college sports, being given arts scholarships, and access to academic programming during and right out of high school. College prepared and acceptance rates are staggering.
They have pools, tennis courts, recording studios, and more at their fingertips. Healthy meals with vegetarian and vegan options. Multiple foreign language options are available. Ballet. I could keep going.
The handholding that happens at this school is incredible. Students should never feel lost when it comes to their college path. Especially since they meet with school staff often to plan their current schedules and work toward future goals.
I can’t help but feel a little jealous. I wish I had known the people in my high school where there to help me. That was their job. I should have requested more attention, asked more questions, and insisted someone build a plan with me to get where I wanted to go.
I’m not mad at private schools for having nice facilities, competent staffing, and a high ticket price.
My high school -a public high school- was clean, safe, and the staff were mostly nice and cared.
I just wish we could all stop lying to each other about it. You can buy a better education. When staff are paid enough money to have only one job, they are able to do that job better. When staff have better tools, they can do better, more efficient work.
Public schools have good people in them, but they aren’t given the financial security to focus wholey on their duties while they are there.
So, what’s the solution?
Money? Maybe. But let’s say that money isn’t on the table, because, frankly, it isn’t. What’s the solution?
Talking openly with the children in your life and the people in charge of helping them achieve their goals. Educating your children about working with guidance counselors and their teachers is especially important if you do not have the time and resources to do it yourself.
If you do have time and resources to educate your children on the process of applying for scholarships, filling out applications, etc., great. Teach them how to work with school staff anyway. You get busy sometimes, and those folks are paid to help.
If we can’t throw money at public school problems, let’s throw some knowledge and action on them, and watch the balance be created.